THE QUIET: time management 101
… He dismissed the crowd.
In my quest to learn the Quiet Life— that daily living tucked into God’s presence, being who I am made to be, doing what I am directed to do— I am mulling over the ever popular topic of Time Management.
For years now, God has been opening my eyes to the way He uses time to His purposes. Maybe someday I’ll gather all those pieces in one place and post them here where everything going in me seems to eventually come out. But this morning, these words about Jesus won’t leave me alone:
He dismissed the crowd.
These were people He cared about. People who were hungry for His story, desperately thirsty to know the Father. They were not nuisances, time wasters, hangers-on. These people were His mission.
And yet He left them. He demanded that they leave. He dismissed them.
Sometimes— often— we must dismiss the crowd. Just like Jesus.
If you are a mother (dare I say it?) that may mean your children. I shudder when a mother proudly boasts that she’s never left her kids overnight. Really? As if that is a badge of honor for Most-Needed Mama. It’s also a citation for a much-neglected marriage.
Sometimes, for the sake of sanity, a mother needs to dismiss the crowd.
If you are well on your way to win the most successful employee of the year award at your work, you may well need to dismiss the List Of One More Thing To Do. One more call to make, one more evening spent organizing for productivity, one more schmooze after work with the boss.
To work and work and work makes for some twisted brokenness in any of us. Nobody is as impressed as we wish they were by our constant pushing of ourselves. Especially when it leaves us prickly and crabby and hinting that if only everyone else would work this hard then we wouldn’t have to.
Sometimes, for wholeness, hard working do-ers need to dismiss the crowd and (gulp!) do less.
If you are, like me, driven by the compulsion to keep everyone happy, you may need to do exactly what I need to do. I need to dismiss the expectations. I need to face the fact that the cost of pleasing everyone will bankrupt me. That I’ll have nothing more to give if I’ve turned myself inside out to try to be more than I am.
Sometimes, people-pleasers need to have the courage to dismiss the crowd.
The other night, Phil found the movie Chariots of Fire on Netflix. He insisted that we watch it together because he had a point to make. It’s in a scene where Eric Liddell is explaining to his sister that he cannot yet go to China where he is going to spend the rest of his life as a missionary. She’s disappointed in him and clearly disapproves (my worst nightmare!). This is what he says: “I believe that God made me for a purpose--for China-- but He also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure."
Because after writing a post about The Rhythm of Slow, my husband affectionately twisted that memorable line to encourage me to say,
I believe God made me for a purpose... but He also made me slow. And when I mull and think and read and learn and write, I feel His pleasure.
He was reminding me with all that charisma that makes him able to say hard things well, that I am best when I am who I am. That when I try to be like someone I admire or someone I think I should be, when I hurry at a pace that is theirs and not mine, I inevitably stumble.
But when I’m me— when I dismiss the crowd of unrealistic expectations— when I plod at my own pace, that’s when I am the me I am meant to be.
I don’t know who or what is your crowd to dismiss. Who you need to get away from in order to come back and love them more and better. What you may need to turn off in order to be content with who you are. (hint, hint, your iPhone!)
What I do know is that Jesus dismissed His crowd to be alone with the Father for a while. He needed to reconnect, to remember, to think and pray and rest in His presence.
After He had dismissed them,
He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray.
I think that’s what He is whispering to me today. That managing my time means going at my own pace and being okay with slow. Dismissing my own expectations of me. And being okay with those who aren’t okay with that.
He is showing me the way to freedom to do what I need to do. And He is giving me permission to do what it takes to be more with Him, so that I can be more who He wants me to be— more at rest in the quiet.
From my heart,
P.S. Is the Father whispering in your ear? Is there a crowd to dismiss? I would love to know that I’m not alone in this…